Screw trajectory affects screw cut-out risk after fixation for nondisplaced femoral neck fracture in elderly patients

Yueh Wu, Tsai Hsueh Leu, Tai Yuan Chuang, Wei Pin Ho, Yu Pin Chen, Chung Ying Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Incidence of femoral neck fracture has risen with the aging of the population and has critical implications with regard to patient death, functional dependence, and social costs. Screw fixation using triangular configurations and calcar placement are still the preferred treatment for nondisplaced femoral neck fracture, to reduce the risk of loss of reduction and nonunion. However, this method is still controversial in terms of the effects of screw trajectory, including parallel or nonparallel configurations, on fixation of femoral neck fractures. This study aimed to compare the incidence of complications between patients who have undergone fixation with a parallel or a nonparallel screw trajectory. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 55 patients who were older than 60 years and diagnosed with nondisplaced femoral neck fracture from March 2014 to March 2016, and who were treated with cannulated screw fixation in our institution. Patient demographics, radiographic parameters including reduction quality, screw trajectory, and complications during the follow-up period were all evaluated. Results: The overall complication rate for screw fixation in elderly patients was 23.6%, and screw cut-out was the most common complication, occurring in 14.5% of all enrolled patients. Also, we found that screw cut-out occurred in more osteoporotic patients, and all screw cut-outs were in groups treated with a nonparallel screw trajectory. However, parallel screw fixation was inclined to back out more after fracture healing and had a lower risk of postoperative screw cut-out. Conclusions: Our results suggested that fixation with nonparallel screws for nondisplaced femoral neck fracture in elderly and osteoporotic patients might interfere with shortening of the femoral neck along with fracture healing, leaving patients at risk of postoperative screw cut-out from the femoral head.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2019


  • femoral neck fracture
  • parallel screws
  • screw fixation
  • screw trajectory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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